Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

As Josh tries to prove Jesse Lee's innocence, Trial & Error uncovers one of Lavinia's long-hidden secrets

Illustration for article titled As Josh tries to prove Jesse Lee's innocence, Trial & Error uncovers one of Lavinia's long-hidden secrets

The experience of watching Trial & Error is enough to make even those viewers who aren’t reviewing the show want to start taking notes during the episodes and go over them with a fine-toothed comb in order to determine which jokes are legitimately important to the plot and which jokes are just meant to make you laugh.


Take, for instance, the seemingly throwaway gag about Moose Day, which involves Mickey Moose seeing his breath and telling the good people of East Peck how many Saturdays they’ll have in a month. At the time, I described it as the most insane item added to the completely ridiculous list of East Peck eccentricities that week. This week it turned out to be a key factor in figuring out Lavinia’s latest attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of Josh, his team, and everybody else in East Peck.

Didn’t see that coming…

The first episode of the week kicks off by making the most of “town garbage fire” Jesse Lee Beaumont’s original trial in terms of quick, hilarious flashbacks, revealing such tidbits of information as Judge Kamiltow’s lost opportunity to sing baritone at Lincoln Center, Anne’s understandably brief stint as a court reporter, and Carol Anne’s apparent desire to wear all the colors of the rainbow at once. (Notably, Jayma Mays manages to make even that outfit look super cute.) Meanwhile, Josh reflects on where he was nine years ago – he was in the midst of an internship at a law firm – and he’s painfully aware that everyone else with whom he was interning is now a millionaire, while he’s basically working income-free and getting boxes of feces in the mail for his trouble.

No, he’s not exactly on the fast track to success...but gosh darn it, he’s trying!

The series, on the other hand, is very much on the fast track, offering new characters and plot developments at such a rapid pace that we don’t get a chance to enjoy letting these changes to the status quo breathe before they’ve been shunted aside in favor of something new. Will we get the opportunity to see Dem Nutz and Dr. Rock n’ Law on our screens again before the credits roll on next week’s second episode, i.e. the season two finale? We can only hope. But no matter what, we can still bask in the knowledge that East Peck has a practicing attorney who apparently wears a robe 24/7, lives in an RV, and writes concept albums about his cases.

(I haven’t gone searching for it yet, but I sure as hell hope that the song snippets that we heard this week aren’t all we get and that there are actually complete songs which will be made available for download.)


This week also finally served to provide plenty of opportunities for Michael Hitchcock to shine, even if probably also made the show’s creative team giggle whenever they saw someone write the words, “When we are we going to see more of Jesse Ray Beaumont?” Uh, yeah, God knows there should be absolutely no one writing those words ever again, not after the way the series delivered such a dramatic uptick in the number of naked tackles per episode. Despite this unfortunate tendency, Jesse Ray certainly proved helpful with the case, providing a long-hidden video tape which set Josh and his team down a path which led to them to discover that Lavinia had a child with her lady-driver flag boy.

Oh, and did we mention that the child might be Dwayne? Or maybe not. We’ll see how things play out in the last two episodes. But there was still plenty enough suspicion of the possibility for the show to run with the idea of Dwayne suddenly embracing a side of his heritage that he’s never explored before, mostly because it may not actually be his heritage. But, hey, if it means that we get hear Dwayne delivering malapropisms on a regular basis, I’m all for it.


Let’s see, what other insanity was introduced this week? Ah, yes, there was Forge Clooney, proprietor of The Frozen Pecker, a frozen yogurt shop in East Peck, who also happens to be able to both create top-notch forgeries and recognize rotten forgeries. We also met Mr. Boom and Echo, a pair who make you wonder how the population of East Peck has survived, given that most residents seem destined to die from something stupid long before ever having a chance to successfully procreate. Oh, and let’s not forget that Carol Anne went into labor and is now trying the case from a hospital bed that’s been pushed into the courtroom, because of course that’s how you’d deal with that situation. But, hey, at least we seem to be making further headway in unraveling the mystery that is Lavinia Peck-Foster.

Unfortunately, someone we barely saw at all this week was lovely podcaster Nina Rudolph, who’s still hanging around town but isn’t getting much onscreen attention. That said, she did score a big laugh with her immediate recognition of the Saturday situation, which made me happy. Maybe that means she’ll be more involved next week. Here’s hoping, since next week is, in fact, the last week of season two…and let us all do whatever we can to try and prevent it from being the last week of the series.


There aren’t enough shows like this on the air as it is. We definitely can’t afford to lose Trial & Error.

Stray observations:

  • Even with everything going on in her world, Lavinia still can’t be bothered to identify Josh and Carol Anne as anything other than “lawyer” and “orange lawyer.”
  • “Pecks don’t get mad. We get even...madder.”
  • If you didn’t read quickly enough to absorb the review of Dr. Rock n’ Lawyer’s album, it’s graded “one half star unless he was serious, then zero stars.”
  • The whole idea of reproducing Dr. Rock n’ Lawyer’s “nine joint drive” thing was hilarious. (“How far did you get?” “Zero feet.”) The single funniest thing to come out of it, though, came after Dwayne’s stoned realization that the tree Jesse Ray was talking about was a family tree. Stephen Boyer’s collapsing into laughter as he finished saying, “This insight brought to you by marijuana.” I actually had to pause the episode to finish laughing.
  • You know a puppet show is racist when they have to pixelate that shit.
  • “Finally, being the only law firm in the country with a VCR is paying off!”
  • Not entirely surprising: that Lavinia has to presume what bologna smells like.
  • Weirdest / funniest concept of the week: the SNL 2011 scene.
  • I will never forgive NBC for not making the photo of Josh’s bad-instincts fashion available for me to use as a header shot for this review.

You may remember me from such features as Random Roles, or my oral histories of Battle of the Network Stars and Airplane!